NLBMDA has some words for OSHA
Citing legal concerns, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) is urging the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to withdraw "Improved Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses," its proposed injury and illness reporting rule.
The rule would increase the frequency with which employers had to report injury and illness data (in new electronic formats), as well as treat the data as public information.
"The release of injury and illness reports could lead to mis-characterizations about an employer’s safety record," said NLBMDA president and CEO Michael O’Brien. "OSHA is proposing to release this information without context or clarifications about each incident. This creates the opportunity for, and will likely result in, misuse of the information."
Under the proposed rule, companies with more than 250 employees would have to submit reports on a quarterly basis. Those with 20 or more employees — and in high-risk industries like LBM — would have to submit the reports once a year.
O’Brien added that the public posting of the data "would punish good actors and reward bad actors by creating the incorrect presumption that employers with several reports operate with hazardous work conditions and those with few or no records are workplaces with very safe conditions. The opposite is likely to be true because employers that keep meticulous records and diligently report to OSHA are more likely to closely monitor safety conditions and quickly correct any issues that may arise at the workplace than those that fail to report."
Frank Ruperto joins Rayonier
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Rayonier has hired Frank Ruperto as senior VP corporate development and strategic planning, effective March 31, to assist the company with achieving its future growth priorities. Upon the previously announced separation of the Performance Fibers business, Ruperto will lead the strategic growth and long-range planning initiatives for the new performance fibers company.
Ruperto has about 25 years of investment banking experience in mergers and acquisitions to Rayonier. Most recently, he served as managing director, mergers and acquisitions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch and previously served as head of global industries M&A for Banc of America Securities. Prior to that, Ruperto served as managing director, M&A at Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith.
“We’re pleased to have Frank join our senior management team at this critical stage in our company’s development. Frank will lead our strategic, long range planning process and additionally begin identifying strategic opportunities that will position us for future adjacent growth,” said Paul Boynton, chairman, president and CEO of Rayonier. “Frank’s strategic thinking and experience in corporate transactions, along with his knowledge of the industrial and specialty chemical sectors, will allow him to play a critical role in our future. We have worked with Frank for more than a decade and know that adding his skill set to our team will enhance shareholder value.”
Rayonier is an international forest products company with three core businesses: Forest Resources, Real Estate and Performance Fibers.
See which companies are the ‘least engaging brands of 2014’
Kmart and Sears are among a group of companies identified as “the least engaging brands of 2014,” in a recently released index of customer loyalty.
"A brand can’t do well in today’s marketplace if it can’t engage consumers, no matter how many ads are run, and no matter how much social networking one does," said Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys, a New York-based brand loyalty and emotional engagement research consultancy.
Passikoff adds that brand engagement correlates very highly with positive consumer behavior, sales and profits.
“All you have to do is look and see how the brand is doing in the marketplace to confirm customer assessments,” he added.
Brand engagement — defined as the degree to which a brand is seen to meet the expectations consumers hold for the Ideal in the category — is a leading-indicator of positive consumer behavior and brand loyalty. They are the ultimate measure for the brand, which according to Passikoff, should always be the beneficiary of any marketing or advertising effort.
“People can be engaged with a show or a social network or an event or an experience, but those are methods of engagement. Brand engagement is the ultimate goal,” he said.
By examining how well 64 brands — each at the bottom of their respective categories in the 2014 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index — did at meeting those expectations for their Ideal (100%), Brand Keys identified the 10 least engaging brands for 2014. From the lowest level of engagement, brands ranked as follows:
1. Blackberry, 52%
2. Quiznos, 57%
3. Kmart, 59%
4. Sony (e-readers), 60%
5. WOW search engine, 60%
6. Sears, 64%
7. American Apparel, 65%
8. Budweiser (regular), 70%
9. Coty Cosmetics, 71%
10. Volkswagen, 79%
“Brands compete in specific categories,” said Passikoff. “By seeing how well customers think a brand measures up to meeting their Ideal retailer, or beer or smartphone, allows for cross-category rankings like these.”
Numerous validation studies have proven that the benchmark for brand success is something higher than 85%.
“Below that, you are generally looking at a brand in trouble. Where engagement is high consumers behave better toward a brand and the brand sees more sales and, along with that, should also see increased share and profits. Where engagement is low, the reverse happens,” added Passikoff. “Always.”
For the Brand Keys 2014 survey, 32,000 consumers, 18 to 65 years of age, drawn from the nine U.S. Census Regions, self-selected the categories in which they are consumers, and the brands for which they are customers (top 20%). Seventy percent were interviewed by phone, 25% via face-to-face interviews (to include cell phone-only households) and 5% participated online.
Assessments are based on an independently validated research technique that fuses rational and emotional aspects of the categories to identify the behavioral drivers for each category-specific Ideal. The Ideal describes a precise path-to-purchase, describing how the consumer will view the category, how they will compare brands and, ultimately how they will engage with the brand, buy and remain loyal. Then the assessments measure how well the brands own customers see the brand meeting expectations consumers hold for the Ideal (100%) for a specific category.